General Question

that1mom's avatar

At what age can I declaw and spay my kitten?

Asked by that1mom (52points) June 18th, 2008

I found a kitten, and yes, it has an appointment with the vet this Saturday. It has checked out with all of the resident cat experts here though, and it is healthy (from what we can see). I have to get it declawed and spayed though, and I am aware I can ask the vet Saturday, but I am curious now.

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86 Answers

simone54's avatar

They say between 5–8 months to spay,

Check into alternatives for declawing. It’s mean.

paulc's avatar

I don’t think it’ll be easy to find a vet to declaw your cat. All the vets up here have stopped doing it. There’s alternatives where they don’t need to cause the cat harm. You should ask your vet about them.

Edit: yeah what simone54 said :)

Spargett's avatar

Also suggest against declawing you cats. It’s a brutal procedure that tends to have a high level of complications on top of that.

A quick Google search can show you some pretty terrible stuff.

jrpowell's avatar

I just called a couple vets. I am on the west coast so they are still open here.

One vet said 4 months or four pounds to spay. They don’t declaw. But they suggested to find a vet that uses lasers to do it. They said it was easier on the cat.

The other one said 4 to 6 months to spay. And four months to declaw. They said they could do both at the same time.

jstringham21's avatar

I don’t know why everyone is saying not to declaw the cat. The cat will feel no pain, because it will be asleep. Both my cats I have now have been declawed. They were weary/tired for a day, but were fine from then on. Besides, cats rarely use their front claws, except for fighting/defending themselves. They can still climb easily with their back claws. Go ahead and get it declawed. You’ll be happy you did when you don’t have torn up furniture and lots of scratches on your skin.

Kay's avatar

Declawing is pretty inhumane to the cat, especially if they happen to get outside or encounter a predator they have no way of defending themselves. The practice has been banned in Europe under the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. A good alternative is vinyl nail caps for their claws that your vet can apply that are safe and non-toxic to your pet.
Soft Paws Claw Caps website:
Soft Claws Claw Caps:

For spaying, kitties can usually have it done after about four months, since it is more invasive than neutering.

flameboi's avatar

I’m not an animal activist, but I think declawing a cat is inhumane, cruel etc… please consider a different option.

Response moderated
flameboi's avatar

That’ts a very stupid argument… sorry…
I’m with kay

Kay's avatar

@jstringham: How would you like it if someone removed the portion of your fingers above the first knuckle? That is what declawing a cat is commensurate to. Declawing a cat to save your furniture or so you’ll never get scratched is inhumane at best; adopting a cat means it comes with claws. Mutilating an animal to make it fit into your lifestyle is cruel.

delirium's avatar

You can trim claws, but don’t declaw… (for reasons stated above and for the simple reason that your kitty won’t be able to protect itself.)
They DO use their front claws and can easily be encouraged not to claw furniture. My cats don’t claw people either. Even when playing with me, they sheath their claws so that I don’t end up getting hurt. I’ve only had kittens claw me, and they’re usually not old enough to know any better.

Jstring: Good call with the bigoted statement there.~

tinyfaery's avatar

If your cat gets out, it will have very little defense if it is declawed. If you actually take the time to work with your cat, and provide it with adequate scratching access there is absolutely no reason to be so intrusive upon a creature who will provide you with unconditional love. I have 4 cats and no problems with furniture scratching. They know exactly where that behavior is acceptable. If you don’t have the time or the inclination maybe another type of pet is better for you.

girlofscience's avatar

You can spay your kitten at around 6 months. Spaying is good because it prevents them from going through uncomfortable heat cycles, and it prevents mammary tumors from developing later in life. Declawing is BAD, and you should not declaw under any circumstances. Declawing is NOT just removing a cat’s claws. They have to amputate the first bone in each of the cat’s fingers in order to declaw, and it causes cats lifelong pain. It is an extremely invasive procedure. Cats can no longer even stretch out the way they used to be able to after being declawed. Declawing is cruel and horrible, and most people who do it are not aware of what it involves. If you love your cat, do not do this to him/her!! It will make him/her miserable forever. You can find things like Softpaws if you are concerned about him/her scratching your furniture.

jstringham21's avatar


There’s no reason that anyone would cut off the ends of my fingers. I don’t claw furniture and scratch people. Besides, declawing a cat isn’t like “remov[ing] the portion of your fingers above the first knuckle”. THEIR claws are similar to OUR fingernails, not fingers. Removing the portion of my fingers above the first knuckle doesn’t relate to removing a cat’s claws. It would relate to removing a cat’s PAWS.

which would be inhumane (the paws part)

tinyfaery's avatar

js 21 do your homework.

jstringham21's avatar


Do my homework? Please elaborate.

smarshal101's avatar

i agree with jstringham21. You should get it declawed. It won’t even hurt the cat.

Kay's avatar

“Declawing essentially consists of amputation of the third phalanx of the paw digits.”
Thus, not a fingernail. Please educate yourself on this matter if you feel so strongly about it. A part of the paw is removed in the process of the declawing procedure.
Are there any vets on fluther that care to comment on this?

tinyfaery's avatar

there is a reason most vets won’t do the procedure. Claws are not like fingernails. It is very invasive and painful.

Seesul's avatar

It can also cause other problems that you might find undesirable such as biting, failure to use the litter box and then some:

Excellent article by a vet

jstringham21's avatar


Good response…NOT. You just said the opposite of what I said in my first response.

jstringham21's avatar


Might I ask YOU a question? How many of you have and/or had cats?

I’ve had a total of 5 cats in my life. All of them, living past the age 15. Obviously, declawing doesn’t shorten the life of a cat. They were all very nice and docile. So declawing doesn’t make a cat meaner. Don’t post a response unless you can relate, and KNOW, how declawing affects a cat.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m with most people here. Please don’t declaw. It’s not the same as taking out your finger nails. It is more akin to having you fingers amputated at the first joint. Most vets won’t do it here in the US. In Europe the vets will tell you to go scratch. Frankly, I feel it should be illegal.

Kay's avatar

I have had multiple cats and have done volunteer work in an animal shelter. All of the cats I have adopted over the years have learned to control their scratching impulses when given the proper outlet (scratching posts, toys, trimming their nails). If you go back and actually read the answers people have given then you will see that no one is saying that declawing makes a cat “meaner,” just that it is painful, cruel, unnecessary and can sometimes cause the cat’s behavior to change.

If declawing is such a great, humane procedure, then why would so many countries have banned it? Do you really think you’re doing the cat a favor by removing their claws?

Lastly, if you don’t want a pet with claws then why on earth would you adopt a cat?

paulc's avatar

@jstringham21, listen, you’re active enough on here to know that when you ask a question you have to expect to get people’s opinions beyond simply answering your question. Its obvious you’re not one bit open to what people are suggesting about not de-clawing but that doesn’t give you license to be a complete dick about it.

syz's avatar

I’ve worked in the veterinary field for over 20 years now. Declawing is a subject of much debate in the veterinary world. Many vets will no longer perform the procedure because of the pain involved, the common complications, and the viable alternatives.

@jstingham, you are mistaken in your understanding of the process – the last joint of each digit is removed (as well as the nail bed). Unless you have worked in a veterinary clinic and seen the aftermath of the surgery, then you have no idea of the pain that kittens and cats suffer as a result of a completely optional surgery. I’m afraid that having had a few pets during your lifetime has not made you an expert on their physiology or medical procedures performed upon them.

I write this response having just gotten home from the emergency clinic where we lost a patient today. The cat had a declaw that went badly and was referred to us for care. Bootsie coded and died while in our care.

I also regularily see declawed cats that have been allowed to go outside despite warnings against the practice. Those cats have been unable to climb out of harms way and unable to defend themselves and have been mauled by dogs. Would the same have happened if their toes were intact? There’s no way to know.

Ultimately, the decision falls to the owner of the cat. My personal opinion is that if you want to have a pet, then you must expect some degree of imact on your life. If I have a cat, I expect to have some minor/piddling damage to my furniture. If I have a dog, I accept that I may have the occasional hole dug in the yard. If I have a child, I don’t have all white furniture and carpet. Pet ownership is a responsibility and you must make concessions to their presence.

jstringham21's avatar


I’m not the one who asked the question. It’s not like I asked a question saying, “Is declawing wrong?”. I simply responded to someone else’s question, just like you.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m curious about how the author of the question is feeling about the decision.

jrpowell's avatar

I would like to add that I don’t support declawing. I just called a few vets to help answer the question.

heyu1021's avatar

clip the nails!! declawing is a cruel unnecessary procedure. its just like removing your fingers and toes. I’ve witnessed this surgery and I wouldn’t recommend it!

buster's avatar

at what age should you have your cat circumcised? i had my tom clipped at 2 kilos.

Adina1968's avatar

It is far better to declaw a cat (Front Only) then to have the cat be turned on to the streets or dropped off in a shelter because it is tearning up someones home and furniture. (Scratching posts do not always work.) I have four cats and they are all front declawed. The are all happy healthy and well adjusted.

ketoneus's avatar

We declawed our first two cats and now regret it. Our kitten will keep his claws. Softpaws are a great alternative. Check them out.

AstroChuck's avatar

I have three indoor cats. All have their claws. The are happy and healthy. We are lucky that we have little problems with scratching, only a little houseplant chewing which I think we’ve tackled. But even if we had scratching problems we would never have any of them declawed. When you bring an animal into your home you have to accept some of the consequences. You don’t cut the tips of your child’s fingers off to prevent him from writing on the walls, do you? So why put a cat through that for the sake of your couch. Animals are not just for our amusement. They are sentient creatures in our care.

tinyfaery's avatar

Cats can be trained to do anything…just like dogs and people. One just needs the desire and a little patience. If you have a kitten, its easier than waiting until the cat has ingrained the bad habits. There is something seriously wrong with a person who would choose a couch over a life, but that’s just my opinion.

delirium's avatar

Jstringam: I’m against declawing and have had four cats in my lifetime. All that have died have been over 21 and have ALL been outdoor cats. (Your pathetic 15 years has just been pwned. 15 is not something to be proud of.)

delirium's avatar

(Also, none died from having anything external happen to them. They just eventually got too sick to be happy and we put them to sleep.)

susanc's avatar

Everyone who has cats think their decisions are good for
everyone’s cats. That’s stupid. Look at the science.

Your cats will love you no matter what you do to them. They depend on you for food, fun, and love.

Trimming nails is easy – one more reason for a cuddle.

Cats who have already been declawed and are fine? GREAT. But why not take it easier on future generations?

tarkadal's avatar

soft paws – yea definitely Soft Paws”

that1mom's avatar

HELLO EVERYONE! I am sorry to say that I read some responses, and lost access to this site for a time. I am anot surprised by the controversial answers to this wuestion. That is why I asked it! It is important to me that I take the kitten’s needs into consideration. It is weird for me to hear all of the negatives regarding de-clawing. I grew up with a best friend who had 5 cats, and they had all of them de-clawed and spayed / neutered at very young ages. I always thought it was okay. They are very nice cats, and have been alive since she was little, and we are 22!
I never knew what the procedure involved, but now that I do, I am unsure. I understand what you all are saying about owning a cat without thinking about these things, and if you really want to deal with them or not. I found this kitten when it was only a few weeks old in a ditch, meowing and crying! I tried and tried to find someone to take it, but my kids and I grew to love it! I have no idea what to do now. We have had it so long, but my kids are alergic to its scratches and I am alergic to it. It is a problem. I am not so much worried about out stuff (although it is a mess!) but our health, and I do not want to hurt it, and I do not want to have to worry about health issues either. Giving it away is not an option, so I dunno. I suppose I will continue to wait it out, and try to train it (like I have been) the best I can?
Thank you for your responses and I appreciate your help!

girlofscience's avatar



syz's avatar

And please, please, please have her spayed.

delirium's avatar

Seriously. Softpaws work.
A kitten will be rough and tumble, but with softpaws you’re not doing anything that can be considered cruel.

(And yeah, spaying is good. You don’t want more kittens you have to try and find a home for!)

kittygirl8's avatar

A cat is asleep when it is declawed so they don’t feel anything. We had our cat declawed and when she came home from the vet she ran around the house like nothing was ever done to her. She was also spayed at the same time. How come no one says anything about circumcising babies, they are awake and they can feel it when its done. There is nothing wrong with declawing.

girlofscience's avatar



I am stopping following this thread so I don’t keep becoming angry.

delirium's avatar

I don’t believe in circumcision either. Do you really want to get in to that with me now?

mnkyfeet717's avatar

Whatever side you choose about declawing here’s some advice;
I have two rescue kittens and unlike kittens who were born in a home they won’t learn to keep there claws retracted. that feeling of having to defend themselves never goes away since at one point they really had to defend themselves. soft paws is a good idea but either way you should do something just ask the scars on my hands. they are fine for the most part but any loud noise or something and the claws will be right out

Ran's avatar

The argument that “the cat is asleep, it doesn’t feel anything” is meangingless. Yes, during any operation anesthesia is used, however you ARE NOT taking into account the ensuing complications that may arise when declawing. I have adopted 2 previously declawed cats who limp due to their surgeries. Removing that part of their toe causes them to walk in a completely different way than most cats. I can easily spot a declawed cat by how they walk from a distance. How do YOU know how the cat feels anyway? If you are so concerned about a scratch, or your precious furniture, I suggest NOT adopting a cat. There is a reason this procedure is illegal in Europe and is declining in popularity here. Please do NOT declaw. Use furniture protectors, scratching posts and trim the nails.

cysmommy's avatar

After reading the responses I am shocked to find how hostile some people are getting. Declawing your cat is a personal opinion. Someone should research all the information needed to make the best decision for themselves and their cat. Not every situation is the same. I have been a cat owner my whole life.. granted I am only 25, but I grew up around cats. I would like to share my story with my declawed male kitty. We chose to have him declawed because he was an inside cat and we have a young child. He did fine with the surgery, and stayed inside. A little over a year ago he wanted to go outside. I hesitantly let him go out. Needless to say he has been out since. We have seen him catch mice, birds, etc. He also is still able to climb and defend himself. Yes, I understand some may think it is cruel to have him outside with all the risks. But I would rather him be happy outside, than miserable inside. We just got a new kitten that is only 5 weeks old, and this kitten will more than likely also be declawed. This all boils down to being a matter of opinion.

delirium's avatar

We’re hostile because it’s imposing your will on another living animal and causing them severe pain. Those of us who are passionate about animals, and especially those of us who work with animals (on a scientific level, particularly) understand that they absolutely feel pain, and that no matter how short the pain is, it’s still cruel to inflict it unnecessarily.

I feel the same way about cutting a dobermans ears, circumcising a baby boy or girl, cutting the tail off a dog to fit breed regulation, piercing a cat’s/dog’s ears, etc. The only things that I am NOT opposed to, in the area, are the ones that are actually necessary for hte animal’s health and well being. Spaying of cats and dogs, branding of cattle, putting chips in to animals, and so on are all fine as they are to protect the animal. Declawing is pain for vanity.

To those who don’t accept declawing as a cultural normality react to it in the same way we react to foot binding. Horror, and nausea. You’d get the same response for saying that you wanted to tattoo your chihuahua.

irishgenes's avatar

I was a Vet Tech for 5 years and my Uncle is a Veterinarian. I know there are many out there who fell it in inhumane and all the rescues I have none feel that very strongly. However coming from my Uncle and a Vet I worked for who is the head Vet for a State Humane Society it is not inhumane if you are doing it for the right reasons.
1. A indoor cat is a happy healthier cat and the life expectancy is higher.
2. It is absolutely inhumane to declaw a cat over the age of 1year. They become very accustomed to there nails and if removed after a certain age it is emotionally and mentally traumatizing for them.
3. A caring loving owner who is happy because there furniture is not destroyed gets less irritated by there cat.
4. The new nail covers they have do work but the replacement is frequent and can become more costly then the declaw.
As long as you are only doing the front two feet instead of all four you should be fine because that at least makes it so they can climb trees to get away from predators. However on the same note you should never let them outside if they are declawed.

My cat is declawed and I would not have it any other way. I do not worry about her scratching my 7 year old and she does not ruin my furniture. I have had her for 5 years and frequently will allow her outside as long as we are out there to. She has never left our backyard and I am not sure if that is because she is aware that she can not defend herself or not but on that same note she is happy, healthy and very LOVED.

I fell that this subject is very touchy and I do see both sides to the issue. I think each person needs to do what is right for them. I usually recommend if you want a declawed cat that you find one to adopt that has already been declawed. This way you are saving a life from a shelter and you do not have to be the one to traumatize the cat. However since you already have your kitten my opinion is it’s ok.
Oh also very important! I would not spay and declaw at the same time. It is way to much for her little body to recover from at once.
My uncle would advise you to that as well, I know this because that’s what he tells all of his patients. He even has said that to me when I had my Cat spayed and declwed.

I hope this helps:)

delirium's avatar

I keep hearing this “An indoor cat is a happy healthier cat and the life expectancy is higher” thing and still don’t buy it. Maybe statistically because there’s more chance of it getting hit by a car or something, but when it comes down to it my personal experience with cats just doesn’t match inasmuch as all my cats have been outdoor cats, and every single one has lived past 20, one even to 23.

kkhosaka's avatar

@cysmommy i think YOU are imposing your OPINION on another human being causing them a severe headache. its a personal opinion and i think it should be left at that. lets all agree to disagree here. I just got a kitten this morning, she is adorable and seems to be adjusting well to our yorkie. They have been running around like crazy all morning and she is already tearing up my bed skirt and new leather couch. animals are PETS not people. I am looking into and leaning towards soft paws, but i still think its up to the owner to decide. People have a right to their own opinion…JUST LIKE YOU.

fenderlvr2000's avatar

So it’s OK to cut into a cat’s abdomen and remove a good portion of it’s sexual organs but it’s not OK to remove claws? Seems like spaying is riskier than declawing since when you cut into the body cavity you have a high risk of infections. Besides who actually leaves their cat outside to encounter predators all the time? Oh and I’d like to see those claws make a difference against a pack of Coyotes.

santoro4's avatar

I have two cats, one is 2 and one is 4 months. I have always been weary about declawing, and my older cat does not need it. She is very good, only scratching her scratching posts, however my little kitten is another story, she doesn’t scratch the furniture, however she does have a digging problem and she is ruining my carpet. I have tried all alternatives to declawing, the spray, the tape, water bottle, tips, and it doesn’t work. I trim her claws on a regular basis, however she just won’t stop digging. I live in an apartment, and I can’t have her pulling up the carpet. So despite my reservations against declawing, I think that in this case it is the best option. I have indoor cats, and I am fully aware of what the procedure entails, sometimes however it is the best option. I am going to wait until after she is spayed to see if she does any better with the digging, and yes I did contemplate doing it all at once to save putting her under twice, but I would like to try and get out of it. Again my point is, sometimes it is the ONLY option to save yourself from having to pay for a new carpet, in a house that you don’t even own. Its all about individual needs.

By the way….have any of you actually tried putting the softpaws on your cat? They are a nightmare to get on, and they don’t stay. I say, total waste of time.

Mr_Felix's avatar

If your cat is left outside how can it protect itself with this ” SoftPaw ” garbage on it’s claws…...what a joke ! Declawing is fine , safe and humane the same as spaying and neutering is fine safe and humane . Both create an environment where pet and owner are alleviated from the concern of over population and household destruction .
As for defending themselves outside…..we’ll I believe cats should NEVER be outside ! Roaming freely and killing wildlife , soiling neighbors gardens , nothing better than going to plant your vegetable garden and finding tonnes of cat crap….We don’t let dogs out free to roam the neighborhood , why cats . KEEP YOUR CATS INDOORS , or if you do take them out make sure you always have sight of them .
I have had several cats over the years and have volunteered at the SPCA , all my cats were front declawed and were never showed mean tendencies and lived long happy lives . We have had cats dumped at the SPCA because they ruined the sofa or drapes and the owners did not want to pay for the declaw . Let previous posters said , better to declaw a cat then throw it to the side of the road . . Have no fears in declawing your cat and don’t let anyone bully you either…’s your choice ! DECLAW !

Mr_Felix's avatar

In response to Delirium , ” The only things that I am NOT opposed to, in the area, are the ones that are actually necessary for hte animal’s health and well being. Spaying of cats and dogs, branding of cattle, putting chips in to animals, and so on are all fine as they are to protect the animal. ” ?????????????? Please tell me how spaying a cat is better for the health and well being of the animal or how it protects the animal…. hmmmmmmmmm ? Unfounded dribble…. and yes micro chipping…..LOL There have been cases where chip implants have been linked to malignant tumors…oh yah protect our pets…..unbelievable !

delirium's avatar

Uh… spaying a cat helps to prevent pregnancy, which can easily be dangerous, many fights, transmission of many diseases, the general happiness of the cat, etc.

Microchipping is actually pretty much perfectly safe. We’ve been doing it to all kinds of animals for decades. The likelyhood of getting a tumor from it is less likely than your pet getting lost/free and the chip making sure it gets back to you.

Do your research.

Geocities doesn’t count.

skyelark22's avatar

This topic has created quite a stir of emotions! I feel that declawing should be a personal choice for each individual owner. Growing up in the country we had “tomcats” that stayed outside. They kept their claws, needless to say. I just recently lost my cat (at the age of 20). She lived a long and healthy life as a de-clawed feline. I loved my baby as if she were my “own” but, her personality never changed after the de-clawing. She was very loving, affectionate, and active. I never experienced her biting in an attempt to have a “defense” mechanism. Also, there comes a responsibility upon the owner to make sure that a cat does not get outside if it is a domestic inside cat. Leaving the claws on as an excuse to, “protect it if it gets outside” is really just an excuse for laziness on the owner’s part. I took responsibility for my cat and in 20 years she never got out. Paw coverings as an alternative – what? Because when humans have casts, it feels so good, doesn’t it? With some arguments on here people want to compare the animal to the people but no one has thought that maybe a “paw covering” may not be so comfortable? Also, while I agree to spaying/neutering, who in their right mind is comparing this to circumcising? And for delirium…circumcising is a whole different topic. If you would like to talk to someone who has experience with this you can talk to me. Because it’s not so much fun when you are taking your 55 yr. old father to get circumcised (he was born pre- circumcising era) b/c he has cancer. Maybe you need to do your homework on the cleanliness of circumcising. Also, there is no reason that indoor cats should have micro-chips. We are breeding a society of lazy individuals (humans) when people are given more of an excuse to not pay attention to their animal when they are opening and closing a door. Please, micro-chipping is just another fee that can be added to the cost of “adopting” an animal. There are too many animals out there that need loving homes. Any owner that feels that de-clawing is an option that they have to take in order to provide that loving home is a better owner than the people that dump the animals out in the street. No one should make any person wanting to adopt a cat feel bad for de-clawing it. What we all should be concerned about is that the homeless animal gets a good home.

hifly1231's avatar

I’ve had 4 cats, and have had every single one of them partially declawed (front paws only). Afterwards, they had very little discomfort, and absolutely no behavioral changes at all. In fact, they continued to act as if they were sharpening their front claws, without tearing up my furniture or drapes. Having your cat declawed in no way can be compared to cutting off someone’s fingers. Do you think it’s “inhumane” when someone has their child’s tonsils removed? Sure there’s some initial pain (which is managed with medication), then you go right on without them. Same with a cat who’s been declawed. If your cat is a strictly “indoors cat”, and is safe, then there’s no problem whatsoever.

sky4va's avatar

kittygirl8 posted: “How come no one says anything about circumcising babies, they are awake and they can feel it when its done. There is nothing wrong with declawing.”

I agree with you totally about circumcising baby boys. Many years ago I was stuck in labor and delivery trying to hold off premature labor and I was right across from where they circumcised the babies. They strapped them down so they couldn’t move and when they performed the surgery, the poor babies screamed like they were being killed. I was horrified, especially since I was having a boy. I allowed all 3 of my boys to be circumcised, but that still bothers me when I think of it.

As far as cats are concerned, I prefer them over dogs and have had them as pets most of my life, in spite of asthma. I have a female un-declawed cat because she is perfect – from day one as a 7 wk old kitten, she has used the scratch pad I gave her and nothing else. She is now 19 months old. When I tickle her and play with her she keeps her claws sheathed. But my newest kitten, a male who is now nearly 5 months old, is a total brat who has pulled the covers off our $750 (each!) leather chairs and they now have deep claw marks on them. Now he’s starting to claw our new sofa. He’s one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever owned and I could never get rid of him, but if I can’t get him trained I’ll have no recourse but to consider having him declawed. He actually tries to climb up my jeans legs. I’ve tried the water spray, but nothing works. My 10 year female cat was declawed and spayed at 9 months and has never acted like her feet bother her. She still scratches her phantom claws on the scratch pad. And believe me, she has teeth to make up for claws! But one thing I agree with, NEVER let a declawed cat outside. That’s the only way I would declaw my cats.

BTW, my daughter has a friend who tried the claw covers and her cat chewed until he got some of them off. Some of them didn’t come off, though, and because his claws/feet were uneven, this caused all kinds of problems, including mental ones.

delirium's avatar

Removing soft tissue is different from declawing.

Choiseul's avatar

Meh, I’ve had a cat before for 21 ish years of my life before she had to be put to sleep… Right there we decide the fate of the cat because we feel it is suffering, but its not ok to declaw? ... right.. ok… makes total sense.

Anyhow I just got a kitten of 8 weeks old about from a shelter.. very loving and active but already I am covered in scratches from head to toe (she likes to sneak attack me when I’m sleeping heh). So my vote in this matter would be to Declaw. Last cat did really well with having no front claws and yes, this is strictly an indoor cat.

Short pain perhaps for the cat, but it sure beats a lifelong pain for me. Others might say I need to train the cat to not be a cat, so be it. I am not one for controlling everything around me to how I see fit so I will just do the latter and have her declawed when she is spayed. End of all the problems and physical pains… ever shower when you are covered in scratches? That isn’t even enjoyable hehe


kittymr92's avatar

In all honesty, there is absolutely nothing wrong with declawing a cat. Plus, it’s really not our decision to make on whether or not this person should declaw their cat or not. They simply asked when they should declaw and spay their kitten. Now, whether they choose to use rubber claws, clip them, or dulls them using some product (honestly can’t think of what it’s called but I know it’s out there) all depends on them. I personally don’t see anything wrong with declawing cats. Sure, it’s painful but so is spaying and neutering. The fact that cats “may” become aggressive depends on the cats. For example, I had a cat that was declawed and she was still as friendly as ever, even after the procedure. Perhaps the cat is irritated only because it was irritated in the first place. It’s hard telling. Again, every cat is unique and all have different traits. ALMOST like people. Which is another thing too, cat’s are not on the same level as people-they are pets to be enjoyed by people, not on the same level of human interaction.

robylnynn7's avatar

WOW what a response!! But in all of these responses there seem to be an overabundance of opinons and seems like hurt feelings on a lot of people but NEVER ANSWERED THE QUESTION.

Anytime after 9 weeks of age should be good, but double check with the vet, that is the simpliest answer. As to everyone’s opinion, make up your own mind. Just like everything else in life, you have to create your own opinion, not take everyone else’s word for something.

bella13's avatar

i think declawing is wrong if you are known to get rid of your animal..because youve made it helpless against anything that attacks it ..most do keep a animal for a while and then dump it ..they get sick of the clean up and ect…if you plan on keeping it and never letting it out..docking a puppy hurts ive heard them scream

SiameseIfYouPlease's avatar

The best time to spay a female cat AFTER her first heat.

The best time to declaw a cat is NEVER.

It is cruel, inhumane, painful for the cat, and leaves them defenseless should they get out of the home for some reason.

There is NO excuse for declawing a cat. Get a cat nail clipper, and trim their nails every few weeks is ALL that needs to be done.

NOTE: I am NOT a rights activist, in fact I hate PETA. But Declawing a cat is wrong, and I’ve seen what happens to declawed cats that get outside and or lost – and it is not good.

If you don’t feel you can have a cat with claws in your home, then you SHOULD NOT OWN A CAT. PERIOD.

SiameseIfYouPlease's avatar

incidentally, I joined this site SPECIFICALLY to answer this question, and then I read the rest of this thread.

jstringham21 – you are clueless! and you do not know what you are talking about. 15 years old? You must seriously mistreat your cats for them to have that short of a life.

A well treated home cat should easily live to 18 to 20 years with proper high quality food and health care and love and affection.

jstringham, your advice is simply terrible. I’ve met the kind of people that declaw their cats – without question selfish, inhumane people to the last one. How the HELL would you know if a cat suffers or is in pain? Huh? Cats are incredibly stoic creatures, and they do NOT show most pain or agony, and “buck it up”. This does not mean they enjoy it, or that even after the amputation heals that they “adjust”.

EVERY SINGLE adult cat I’ve encountered or rescued has been, for want of a better word, “emotional wrecks”, chronically depressed or angry, and always ALWAYS terribly frightened and skittish.

WHY? Well, obviously either their owners are abusive (easy to grasp since they had them declawed in the first place), or because the cat, now declawed, has been unable to defend itself in some situations, and is now emotionally damaged by the incident(s).

SiameseIfYouPlease's avatar


1) The car will be rendered permanently defenseless. If a cat escapees their home (perhaps to get away from an abusive owner), they will DIE of starvation or at the hands (claws) of another animal.

2) This procedure is terribly painful for the cat. Have you ever had surgery? I have – sure they put me out – and when I woke up, the pain was unbearable intense, and continued for weeks.

3) There are a NUMBER of alternatives. For one, JUST TRIM THE CLAWS every few weeks. get a clipper. SIMPLE. There are even “claw trimming” scratchers, and the “Soft Paws” fix mentioned in this thread.

4) It is about as simple to teach a cat to scratch ONLY the designated scratching post, as it is to teach them to use the litter box. Even the dumbest cat I’ve ever had (purrring loudly in my lap right now) was able to be trained not to scratch furniture, and only her designated scratcher in short order.

5) If you DIE, or you MOVE, or something happens and you cat is placed in a new home, and that new home has cats with claws, your declawed cat will not be able to defend itself. The other cats will not understand that it wants or needs to be left alone, because with out a “claw” the other cats will assume it is only playing. this will be a SERIOUS problem if the declawed cat is significantly older than the other cats in the home.

I’ve dealt with this – I’ve seen it first hand. Every declawed cat I’ve met was sad & depressed and/or angry. NONE were happy nor well adjusted.


You know what sad/depressed/angry cats do?

THEY PISS ON YOUR FURNITURE. And maybe your shoes. Good for them.


My hope is that this remains on the net, and comes up enough in Google searches to prevent any more of this cruel punishment.

Again, I’m not a liberal. I’m not an animal rights activist. I don’t like PETA. But I DO know cats, and I HAVE sadly had to deal on more than one occasion with declawed cats, and I can tell you – it is not good.

If you are getting a cat, it to have a friend. Would you mutilate your friend? No. You want a friend, treat it with love and caring. Teach it to scratch the designated scratching post (takes only once or twice for most cats).

fyrstar86's avatar

Wow some of these statements are retarded, if they want to d-claw the cat it’s their choice because they are going to be living with the animal NOT you!! They put the cat under anesthesia and do the surgery, and after the surgery they maybe a little tired. As for not being able to stretch like it used to, that was the dumbest out of them all!! I have a cat he’s been d-clawed for 12+ years and he still acts like he has them, he has no problem stretching climbing or any of that! Instead of calling the person cruel and going on about all this other stuff just answer the question and go on with your life! Whether or not you agree with their decision it’s still their cat and they’ll do what they feel they need to!

koryman101's avatar

i just bought 2 baby kittens, and im getting them both declawed asap. >:) muahahaha u fag animal lovers. DOWN WITH THE CLAWS!!!!!!

simply_posh21's avatar

I’ve been reading through these answers, since I’m getting ready to take my kittens to the vet. I will say, I will ask about the nail caps, since I have seen them in the local pet store. However, I would like to have those that feel the removing of front claws to be inhumane, as well as leaving a cat defenseless, to do a little bit of reading….

Our vet, who has served us a number of years, has informed us that a cat’s defense is basically the use of his/her rear claws. If a cat still has the back claws, as I did read 1 person state, it can still climb, and yes, it can still defend itself very well, against anything it may encounter.

lilybug's avatar

wow, lots of controversy here. I don’t like to declaw my cats, but when we didn’t they destroyed everything in our home. leather couches, tables, etc. The Softpaws (plastic caps) that go over paws were expensive and fell off a lot, or became imbedded in my cats paws. I declayed my last cat, with no problems. He is a perfect cat! We decided if we have cats with claws again we might as well live in a trailer with junk furniture, because it gets trashed. My cats never used the scratching post either, only the couches…

TamRN's avatar

I have had many cats throughout my lifetime and I’ve declawed some and not others. The fact is it does not benefit the cat at all only the owner and with that said I must say that I have had both good and bad experiences with the declawing process. The last cat that I had declawed had a very bad reaction and ended up losing part of his foot. I’ve read some of the posts on here and the one thing I must say is that while declawing a cat is not a natural thing for them, neither is spaying or neutering them. I don’t know of anyone who would want to have their genitals cut off or cut out on purpose, just as i dont knkw anyone who would want the ends of their finger tips cut off! So, with that said, it is the owners personal preference and that preference shouldn’t be battered or criticized when seeking answers and asking questions about the unknown. Be kind to one another, you never know when you are entertaining Angels.

td1473's avatar

I find it funny that people here say its a travesty to get a cat declawed, but have no issues with chopping off its genitals or taking out its ovaries. A bit of hypocrisy don’t you think? I’ve had many cats, and all were declawed. I’ll have many more, and so will those be.

carleyb's avatar

What about circumsizing a child. You are doing a procedure not necessary. Right? What is the difference? I’m sure it causes pain for a child after too, but it’s something people do.

Rosie9940's avatar

I am a diabetic and when i discussed this with my dr about getting a cat, he recommended getting one that was declawed,because scratches can get infected and take a long time to heal and you might have to take medication. With this being said, i adopted a 3 year old cat that was already declawed..she is good she still tries to scratch furniture( i was told they dont realise they dont have front claws anymore) plus i do let her outside ,but only if i am there to supervisor her. One day i had to be on my toes, because believe it or not, she did clime 2 tries…1 was a palm tree and i got her before she got to high..the other was a bush like tree that has the berries for the birds..,now that one was a little more difficult…if i dont watch her she does go and wander the neighbor hood, but lucky for me not to far..she is now 8 years old and i take her to the vet on a regular bases to have her checked out. She is a very healthy spoilt cat and i hope to have her many more years and am considering of getting a young cat or kitten…but again when i do, i will talk to the vet about options, because my health is just as important if not more than a short term pain for having the front claws declawed

Carol38's avatar

My vet removed the nails only and after a few years my cats grew back. From the time the nails where removed and grew back in I worked to train my cat to be a gentleman. He didn’t know he didn’t have nails and continued to sharpen his nails on the scratching post.

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brookscj's avatar

I think one thing that has been missed is that the pain after declawing and complications come mostly from choosing (or not being aware of) the wrong method of declawing. The absolute worst method is very similar to removing the last digit of the toe with nail clippers. It causes the crushing of bone and can lead to infection and permanent pain. the next method is surgical removal with a scalpel at the joint an is much better and has no lasting pain but a greater chance of an infection than the best method. The best method is laser removal at the first joint which provides for the fastest healing and least pain. If you are considering declawing please discuss this with the vet and use a vet that practices one of the better two methods.

While my current cat is not declawed, my cat as a child was and I can say that both were great cats. I have seen mental complications with the nail caps and don’t use them. Some cats don’t seem to adjust to them and constantly try to chew them off. As for nail clipping, my cat tolerates it but my friends cat hates it and has been known to bite to avoid it.

In conclusion use the method that works best for you and your cat and if you decide to declaw use the most humane method available to you within an age range of four to six months if possible.

wayne_marie's avatar

It is not “inhumane” to declaw a cat. I have had 6 cats in my life and they all were front declawed (they kept their back claws so in a rare chance they got out they could defend themselves). It was not traumatizing to the cat and did NOT affect their health in any way. All of my cats lived into their early twenties which is old for cats. My kitten I currently have gets her claws stuck in everything including the carpet when she is walking. She has almost injured herself because she does not understand how to retract them to get unstuck. If you go to a good veterinarian the cat will have no issues after the surgery. None of my cats have ever had complications and have lived long happy lives.

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BrendaBlMB's avatar

I hate to see all the people against declawing, I have contracted Cat scratch fever twice. Which both times resulted in surgeries of tumor removal’s that went to my lymph nodes, both biopsies came back cat scratch fever. So I recommend getting your pet cat declawed. It’s a lot cheaper than surgery for you .

MadiC's avatar

If the procedure is done right the cat will NEVER be in pain. It removes a small bone that keeps the claw in place, so yes it’s more than a fingernail. However it isn’t the worst thing to do to a cat. If you are like me and are great about making sure your little fur friend stays inside or only goes out when you stand by it you won’t have to worry about the protection part of the situation. If someone chooses to declare their cat, that’s their business so keep your ass out of it!

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catlover1221's avatar

To be honest, I have grown up with cats, and love them to death. Now, I have been reading the responses on this thread, as I, myself, am a first time homeowner, and just adopted my first kitten. I was curious about the age of when procedures would be safe, and expected to read well-educated answers of a general nature regarding the ages, not activism regarding what other’s opinions are regarding whether a cat should be declawed.

Now, since everyone is giving their opinion on the matter, I will as well. I follow suit on the fact that these kittens are not yours, so stop telling people what to do, you’re only creating conflict where it is not needed.

As far as giving advice, sure, you have your opinion, so leave it at that. My family has always had our cats declawed, and only had one situation where a declawing went wrong because the vet happened to be a quack. He was new to the area, and no one at the time (early 90’s) gave reviews on vets, docs, etc. So, we knew nothing of what our cat was in for, and she got screwed, big time. Did it change her? Yes. However, that was the first and only botch job that has been recorded in my lifetime/family of cat owners. Did my parents continue to do so with the other cats I knew and loved? Sure, but that quack had closed-up shop after our cat’s procedures, so that tells ya something. All the cats that have been fully declawed otherwise in my life were happy, wonderful cats, because we loved them like family, and never gave them a reason to need to fight back!

Next on my opinion agenda; inhumanity. Hypocrites should not throw stones. In my opinion, if the cat has had the declawing done right, there is no change to the cat. As far as defending themselves, it’s a load of hogwash, and here’s why. It seriously depends on the cat, the household, and the situation. You can’t use those as grounds for telling someone they are the most inhumane person in the world when I watched my first cat beat up dogs three times his size without claws! He climbed door jams, climbed up his owners, and jumped high heights. So, buckle up for that one, buttercup, it’s still a matter of your own opinion.

Now, as far as whether someone should do it or not, look at the diabetic woman who has to be scratch free from a cat that has had it’s claws digging in it’s own feces! Yeah! POOP! That could be a death sentence for a diabetic if that wound gets infected! I should know, as my mother is diabetic and is dealing with an older cat my sister adopted for her, and they refuse to declaw! But, should she refrain from something she loves because you all have issues with declawing? Think about that!

I know there are posts on here from reputable vets, and I applaud your information and advice, which I hold highly. However, when it comes to these cats having behavioral issues, it’s not only just the procedures that cause that behavior. It’s generally the owners. It’s not simply black and white, people, and each person deserves each other’s respect.

So, please, people, answer the question, and leave your opinions out of it! All you’re doing is spreading negative energy, and distracting from the answer the original poster needed. So, in my opinion, we all need to listen, yes, but also find alternatives that work, yes. Do I like feline mutilation? No! However, I tried the soft paws route, and one cat tore his claw covers off, and injured his dang paw! Then the other left the covers on, and a couple nails grew into her paw! And, just so you know, you’re gluing those covers onto the claws, they don’t clip those off, they have to remove them. How? They don’t tell you! So, what you need to do is ask yourself, which is best for the pet? Which is safest? Sure, you can clip the nails, but tell that to someone who doesn’t have the means to have the nails clipped! Tell that to someone who is virtually unable to do so, and the cat is a therapy cat!

It doesn’t matter what everyone’s reactions to this are, all I have to say is that everyone is right, no one is wrong, and this thread should have just received informative answers, not feline evangelism that only causes discord and hate. I’m done.

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